Mesut Ozil's agent has suggested the player turned down world-record salaries in order to sign a new Arsenal contract.
Mesut Özil rejected "crazy offers" from Asian clubs worth a reported £1million a week to stay at Arsenal, according to his agent. The 30-year-old agreed to a new deal with the Gunners in February which is said to be worth in the region of £300,000 per week, after months of speculation over his future. His representative, Dr Erkut Sogut, has denied money was the main problem during protracted negotiations with the club and suggested Özil could have earned world-record sums had he agreed to move away from north London.
Money isn't the be-all and end-all
"We had some really big offers from Asia. There were some crazy offers," he told Standard Sport. "But, for Mesut, money was by no means the biggest factor. "Money is definitely one important thing to consider, but people must remember that footballing ability is just one aspect of a contract negotiation. The commercial impact of a footballer is crucial nowadays. Mesut has the biggest social media following of any player in the Premier League and I just read that his shirt numbers [sales] were the largest at the club. At the end of the day, this is all information that has to be taken into consideration. So, the commercial side is very big with a player like Mesut, who has played in different countries and was the number 10 of the Germany team, where he won the World Cup. His market is worldwide. The club makes money out of these players as well."
Özil loves Arsenal
Özil, who joined from Real Madrid in 2013, is now committed to Arsenal until 2021 and has suggested he could stay at Emirates Stadium for the rest of his career. Sogut says the player's love for the club was a key factor behind his decision to stay. "It came down to what was in his heart," he said. "We were free to sign with other clubs and, in the end, Mesut loves the club. I put everything to him and he just said, 'This is my home, I want to be here'."